Tuesday, December 1, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 6:01 PM
Tree damage in Philly; winds were potent, but no tornadoes have been confirmed. (ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ/Staff Photographer)

Despite multiple reports of funnel clouds during Tuesday’s severe-storm outbreak, the National Weather Service hasn’t confirmed any actual tornados.

A straight-line wind estimated at 85 m.p.h. caused significant damage in Gloucester County, according to Gary Szatkowski, head of the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly.

However, Szatkowski tweeted, it wasn’t a tornado.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 3:06 PM
The orange sky after the storm on June 23, 2015. ( Joseph Kaczmarek / For the Inquirer )

Driving home after nature’s mass-pruning operation Tuesday, we had to negotiate a hazard that had nothing to do with closed roads or dead wood.

The drama in the western sky was so mesmerizing that we had trouble focusing on the road.

We have seen sunsets at the Grand Canyon, in Hawaii, on Cadillac Mountain in Maine, and this might well have trumped them all. We regret only that some folks to the east, where the rains arrive later, missed out.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 10:38 AM
Winds starch the flags in Hammonton: gusts yesterday were among highest ever measured.. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)

The 72 m.p.h. gust measured at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday was just 2 m.p.h. shy of hurricane force.

It was the fourth-strongest official wind speed on record, according to the National Weather Service.

No. 5, by the way, was just two months ago, a 71 m.p.h. gust from a downburst on April 22.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 5:37 PM

For the updated version of this story, click here.

The potent cluster of storms that ripped through the region has left more than 130,000 PECO customers in the dark.

Multiple trees were downed and several fires, possibly started by lightning strikes, broke out across the region. Temperatures reportedly dropped more than 20 degrees between the storm's beginning and end.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 12:32 PM
Sheep cross a parched area near New Delhi last month, a warm one worldwide. (Reuters)

Last month was the warmest in records dating to 1880, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information (that’s the erstwhile National Climatic Data Center).

According to the government’s just-updated database – and we remind our readers that this is quite a complicated process – the globally averaged temperature for May was 1.57 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average.

That beat May 2014 by 0.14 degrees; the margin of error is 0.13.

POSTED: Friday, June 19, 2015, 3:13 PM
A vehicle is pointed the wrong direction after high water pushed it into a ditch on the south side of Hardesty Road west of US 177 in Shawnee, Okla. (Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman via AP)

As Glenn Schwartz posted on Thursday, moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill is likely to douse the region during the weekend, when the astronomical summer arrives.

The National Weather Service has posted a flash-flood watch for the entire region from Saturday evening through Sunday evening with the potential for up to 4 inches of rain – that’s about a month’s worth.

As usual, expect rain totals to vary considerably from place to place. Once the weather turns warm and the more-organized storms of winter give way to showery rains, nature’s caprice takes precedence.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 5:35 PM
Yes, it was another one of those days; the Philly temperature went past 90 again Tuesday. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)

For the fourth time this year, the official Philadelphia temperature nudged past 90 Tuesday afternoon, reaching 91 at 3:59 p.m.

And, as a graphic accompanying the Sunday Inquirer about the Pope and global warming showed, 90-plus days have been occurring more frequently in recent decades.

The 20th Century average for the numbers of days in which Philadelphia’s official temperature reached at least 90 was 21. Since 1987, that number is 28, about a one-third increase.

POSTED: Friday, June 12, 2015, 7:07 PM
Jordyn Chin, 5, plays in the fountain at Dilworth Park on Friday, June 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

At Philadelphia International Airport the temperature reached 95 at 3:42 p.m. Friday, matching the record for the date set in 1947.

That's the highest reading of the season, and 3 degrees better than Thursday's high.

Should the temperature make it to 90 tomorrow -- and that's not a given -- this would become the season's first heat wave by the government's official criterion.

About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

Reach Tony at twood@phillynews.com.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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